Saturday, January 1, 2022

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Cassidy Elaine Photography: Six Years Strong


 2021 was the most eventful year I have ever had in this photography business. When I first started CEP in October of 2015, I remember worrying if I would even be able to get a few clients; I struggled with imposter syndrome and I often nit picked all the ways I needed to improve my images. Little did I know that what started as an interesting class in middle school "Introduction to Photography" would turn into a business that would create professional images for fifty-some clients from 2018-2021, 20 of which were in 2021. The initial fears about starting an entrepreneurial endeavor with my Canon Rebel T5 and two simple zoom lenses, no prior job experience (aside from babysitting), and of being a high school student were put to the test. Little did I know that six years later, I would have developed strong relationships with clients who would book me repeatedly, I would trade in Windows Live Photo Gallery for Lightroom and my Canon Rebel T5 for the 5D Mark III, I would stop being ashamed of my creative perspective (loving high contrast, unposed moments, and strong colors) and start using it to brand my business as unique. 


If I could tell my younger self something about starting a photography business, I would say this: stay the course God has set for you and refuse to fear. My very first photo session outside of photography class came up after I prayed forlornly about how I really wanted to be a professional photographer, but it would probably never happen. Only days after praying this, my friend from church requested that I do her senior photos. It felt like an absolute miracle. I hadn't even mentioned to anyone that I was in search of clientele, but here it was. 


Surrendering yourself to God can take you amazing places. I simply hoped to get a few clients from the Rockford, Michigan area. Now I've had the joy not only of working with clients in Rockford, Grand Rapids, and Reed City, but also in Windsor, CO, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, CA. The initial hopes I had for CEP now seem microscopic. God doesn't always give us our dreams, but, as Elisabeth Elliot has said, "God's refusals are always merciful." When doors close, He has a purpose. When God puts opportunities in front of us, He provides what we need to walk through and enter into these endeavors for His glory.


The same creative mind that struggled to focus in high school--often lost in thought, looking out the window when I should have been finishing Geometry problems--is the mind that was necessary to dream, innovate, take risks, build client relationships, and plan entrepreneurial endeavors. This was the mind that could look at the staffing crisis in the hospital I am employed in and connect the need for more staff to my photography businesses' opportunity for growth; I saw a way to kill two birds with one stone--pick up extra shifts to help the hospital, and bring in extra income to buy new gear, and editing software. Get extra money, reinvest it to grow the business...


Six years can do a lot to a person. I have more confidence and less imposter syndrome. I have more trust in God and less fear. I have more photography opportunities and less uncertainty. But none of that would have been possible if I had stayed in my comfort zone and let my nerves control me. I was afraid of not being a strong enough professional, not editing images perfectly, and not meeting expectations, but by entering into the circumstances that felt risky--to have to be a professional who deals with client expectations and creates images--it became possible to grow in the ways God was calling me to. Oswald Chambers warns "Beware of looking back at what you once were when God wants you to become someone you have never been." If I was chained to pessimism, depression, and a lack of confidence, God was faithfully going to send challenges through this business what would slash through those strongholds. You never know what God might do with your simple willingness to say "Yes" for His glory to the risk in front of you.


Pro-Life San Francisco's Protest Against Advanced Bioscience Resources

On November 11th, I joined pro-life activists Terrisa Bukovinac of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, Kristin Turner of Pro-Life San Francisco, and Herb Geraghty of Rehumanize International to protest Advanced Bioscience Resources' abuse of the bodies of babies subjected to the violence of abortion. 

Terrisa described the event on Instagram

"Disruption yesterday morning outside the headquarters of Advanced Bioscience Resources, America’s oldest profiteer of the sale of harvested fetal organs for experimentation. I have been in a two year battle with the University of California, San Francisco for records relating to their fetal organ harvesting program and the university recently provided a literal pricing sheet and invoices from ABR proving they are selling the organs rather than reimbursing shipping costs as they’ve previously claimed. Selling human fetal organs for profit and creating a market for body parts is illegal yet neither the State nor the US Department of Justice have held them accountable and shut them down. ABR’s long-term procurement director Perin Larton has admitted on camera that sometimes these late-term babies are born alive and killed by dissection."

 

Precious preborn babies are targeted while yet in the womb by some abortionists who have partnerships with fetal tissue research organizations--as is the case with Women's Options Center in San Francisco (read more about this connection here). 

This vile abuse of our world's smallest children--who are vulnerable and desperately in need of our help and protection--ought to urge us onto action for the rescuing of these beautiful people who have been created in love for God's excellent purposes. When we see an organization barbarically profiteering from the intentional killing of such a marginalized, overlooked people group, could indifference ever be an appropriate response at any measure? 


No.


For the sake of these beautiful, tiny people, may we reject passivity, and rise in the name of Jesus to save the children He has made.


(Note: Some photography from this event was featured in Live Action News' article "Activists Block Traffic in Protest Against Harvesting and Experimentation on Children.")










































































* All Images are property of Cassidy Elaine Photography and may not be used without written permission

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